Beginner planning Mississippi Trip
Posted by: old_user on May-10-13 11:33 AM (EST) Category: Canoes
I am planning a canoe trip down the Mississippi River starting in Lake Itasca, MN. I honestly don't have a whole lot of experience canoeing. Am I crazy for planning this?
I am looking around for a nice solo canoe. I'm looking at both the Old Town Guide 119 and also the Old Town Pack. Obviously the Guide is more on the cheaper end, is a bit heavier, and probably much slower. Any suggestions for this trip?
How are the waters on the Mississippi starting from Lake Itasca? From what I know, the current is slower in that part of the river. Is it generally easier up at the starting point than, say, down between Iowa and Illinois?
Any recommendations or advice is greatly appreciated!
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Posted by: glendorado on May-10-13 11:55 AM (EST)
the headwaters of the Miss is slower & narrower than Minneapolis & south. Still ice on lake Itasca, but rivers are open. Don't know how far you're planning to paddle, but here's a link to the MN DNR site where you can view maps of various sections, with water campsites, put ins, take outs etc.. Have fun ! http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/watertrails/mississippiriver/index.html
OT Pack down the Mississippi ?|
Posted by: old_user on May-10-13 12:43 PM (EST)
I only have 4 years in a Canoe myself and I do have an
yup, a little crazy|
Posted by: willowleaf on May-10-13 2:27 PM (EST)
I hate to squelch people's enthusiasm for adventure but I think you're being a little unrealistic. I suggest you wait until your local outfitters start renting canoes (probably after Memorial Day) and then plan a couple of 3 or 4 day paddles on the nearest large river to see what it feels like to cover some distance on a sizable waterway with all your camping gear and supplies. Remember you will have to carry water, food, cook stove, shelter, bedding, extra clothes and safety equipment. Also, have you considered what you would do for emergency communication? You will likely not have cell phone service in many areas and have you considered how you would keep one charged anyway?
You will enjoy canoeing more if you|
Posted by: ezwater on May-10-13 2:36 PM (EST)
spend a few years paddling local lakes and rivers, building skills, camping on weekends, and developing your own tastes for river activity.
Posted by: carldelo on May-11-13 4:58 PM (EST)
Neither of your choices|
Posted by: stevet on May-10-13 4:33 PM (EST)
are suitable for your intended trip. Canoeing--especially where you intend to go--is not a "no skill required" sport. In my opinion you need some serious experience and skill to attempt the trip. Do some research on others who have done the trip to fully understand the conditions/dangers/necessary equipment.
Posted by: mintjulep on May-10-13 4:39 PM (EST)
In order of probability, most likely to least likely.
This to think about.|
Posted by: paddletothesea on May-10-13 6:13 PM (EST)
What I've seen time and time again is someone gets an "idea' in their minds and then they plan very little and wonder why they only for a couple weeks and are done with the trip.
Posted by: pirateoverforty on May-10-13 10:17 PM (EST)
Give it a try this year. Get a taste of what you're talking about.
Similar advice as others|
Posted by: Guideboatguy on May-10-13 11:28 PM (EST)
Here is Water Trail info for our area|
Posted by: randy_morgart on May-11-13 10:05 AM (EST)
No way, but it's been done in rec kayak|
Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on May-11-13 12:53 PM (EST)
I concur that such a trip is very infeasible for a novice in such a short and clunky canoe. I don't think you would die, but simply give up after incurring many difficulties.
Posted by: mrmannerz on May-11-13 3:17 PM (EST)
WInd Waves Weather |
Posted by: Paddlingfan1 on May-11-13 9:15 PM (EST)
If I were you I'd learn to read the water first. I met a paddler last year who did it in a Wenonah WIlderness. It did a wonderful job for him. It's a true solo canoe. I paddle a Clipper Sea 1 on the Mississippi. Best boat I've ever owned for big water wind and waves. I've also paddled the mississippi for a week in a Wenonah Prism. Very nice unless you get a big quartering tailwind. Then it's a lot of work to keep it from weathercocking. In any case you need to learn how to read the water in order to stay alive. One mistake on the Mississippi and you'll never get a second chance. Learn to read the water!!!!
Watch these to get idea|
Posted by: howeld on May-12-13 7:33 PM (EST)
Neat series of 20+ episodes of these guy's trip down river. Give someone a very good idea of what is in store when doing the Mississippi river.
Posted by: ppine on May-16-13 3:03 PM (EST)
Listen to Willowleaf and the others. This is becoming a familiar scenario- newbie wants to paddle all summer, solo, with no experience.
Posted by: thebob.com on May-16-13 7:43 PM (EST)
thanks for sharing that link|
Posted by: tdaniel on May-16-13 10:28 PM (EST)
I enjoyed WATCHING. When it comes to the Mississippi I prefer to be a spectator but for others it is a dream trip. The pizza and barbecue did looked tasty though.
you can increase your odds of success|
Posted by: tdaniel on May-16-13 7:35 PM (EST)
with lots of preparation. Follow your dreams but realize if you do your homework first you'll stand a better chance at success. Each year many folks start out from Springer Mt. in the early Spring with the hope of completing the Appalachain Trail. The folks that finish their journey in Maine are the ones who are fortunate enough to stay healthy, and committed to seeing it through even if they had little prior hiking experience before doing "the trail". They are not necessarily the most prepared, but it helps. I think the goal of paddling the entire Mississipi is much the same as a long distance hike but a bit more dangerous if things go wrong. Follow your dreams but do your homework first. Posting here was a great first step toward following that dream. You want the reality to be even better than the dream itself!